By Kris Henry
It’s been a labor of love from Day 1 but the payoff continues to be huge for all parties involved in the Singler Southern Oregon Open.
The eighth annual basketball tournament returns Saturday and Sunday in basketball gyms throughout Medford and Central Point and organizers promise bigger and better from this year’s event.
A record 188 teams representing Oregon, Washington and California are slated to compete in boys and girls divisions from the sixth grade to high school varsity levels, making it the largest sporting event in southern Oregon in terms of number of teams participating.
“To see what it’s become is great,” said tournament founder and Detroit Pistons forward Kyle Singler. “There’s going to be a point where it does level off and plateau but I think we can always make this tournament a little better each year and bring something new and fresh. That’s always been my vision and I’m just happy that people leave here each year happy and are willing to come back and participate.”
Kids Unlimited Executive Director Tom Cole has been a driving force for the tournament since Singler started the ball rolling as part of his senior project at South Medford High, and credits the entire Singler family and a host of volunteers for the steady growth of the tournament.
E.J. Singler picked up the torch from his older brother while at South Medford and has continued to serve with Kyle as an ambassador for the tournament through his days at the University of Oregon and now with the NBA Developmental League’s Idaho Stampede.
The Singler brothers spent part of Thursday signing autographs at Rogue Federal Credit Union and then made a well-received appearance at the VIBES Charter School inside Kids Unlimited, where they handed out T-shirts provided by Guru Ink and answered questions for the elementary school students.
Today, the Singlers will be serving coffees at the Dutch Bros. on the corner of Stewart and Columbus from 3-4 p.m., and they’ll make stops at the local tournament venues throughout the tournament to go along with a presentation during Saturday’s Dinner of Champions at South Medford High. The dinner begins at 5:30, and the ceremony starts at 7:15.
Read the full article on mailtribune.com